with homemade Tzatziki sauce
Greek Turkey Burgers with Homemade Tzatziki
For the tzatziki:
- ½ cucumber
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic 2 cloves
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
For the burgers:
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the tzatziki
- Grate the cucumber and put it into a clean tea towel.
- Squeeze as much of the moisture out of it as you can, then add the cucumber, lemon juice, garlic and salt to the yogurt and mix well.
- Chill while preparing the burgers so the flavors can meld. If you have any leftovers, it’s great as a salad dressing!
For the turkey burgers
- Mix together all ingredients until well combined and form into 5 or 6 half inch thick patties.
- Heat a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat and swipe with a little olive oil to prevent the patties from sticking.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, flipping only once (for some reason turkey tends to fall apart).
- Serve on flatbread circles or pita bread with tzatziki.
WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING TO BRING YOU AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!
I am now an Amazon Affiliate, which means that if you purchase something through one of my links I will gain a small commission. So, if you see something you like it would mean a lot to me if you would use my link to help support the blog!
In exchange, I promise not to be annoying or spam you with lots of unnecessary products – only things I have personally used and love. As such…I mention using either a cast iron skillet or a non-stick pan for this recipe. I LOVE my Lodge cast iron skillet and use it for a lot of recipes, including my Balsamic Chicken. If you prefer to go the non-stick route, I have never found a slicker pan than this one by Cuisinart. You can almost cook eggs without butter – but why would you?
AND NOW, BACK TO THE STORY
Obligatory Fictional Backstory
I set out to prove Episode 10 from Season 3 of “Parks and Recreation” wrong – that a turkey burger CAN be just as good, if not better than, a beef burger. But how could I succeed where the incredible Chris Traeger failed? I certainly can’t match his enthusiasm…we’ve already established that I don’t run unless chased by a bear, and maybe not even then because it’s less painful to be mauled to death than to run.
But where I have him beat is that I have actually eaten food that tastes good. And as such, I applied those flavors to what is typically a dry, bland excuse for a burger and created something that, if I do say so myself, is -literally- on par with a beef burger.
This may be, without exaggeration, my best recipe yet. You may be wondering, “How does she know? What criteria does she use to judge?” Well my friends, I served this to the world’s harshest critics. They do not frequent Michelin star rated restaurants, nor do they write for world renowned food magazines; they do not even have their own cooking show. Who are these critics?
And my husband.
….they ALL loved it.
….they almost ALL asked for seconds (except my oldest who said it was “spicy”. I think he’s secretly British).
My husband said I should make it again. And that the tzatziki was almost as good as our local Mediterranean restaurant. It was a good night! So try it and impress your family and friends!
I’m short on words (the curse of being succinct and not making you read ten boring paragraphs about how I grow my own ingredients and got the idea from traveling around the world and blah blah blah blah blah) so I will now address the elephant in the room: WHAT THE HECK IS TZATZIKI? And more importantly, how do you pronounce it??
We’ll address pronunciation first: Zaht-zee-kee. Not written phonetically accurately but hey that’s how it sounds and I didn’t remember what the “schwa” (ə) symbol meant until I started homeschooling (and even now I’m having a hard time remembering what it’s supposed to represent).
And now a short history lesson!
According to Greek On Wheels,
“A long time ago, when the Ottoman Empire was still in full trading swing, India was enjoying the simple pleasures of raita sauce, a seasoned yogurt-based dip. During this time, the Indian people were ruled by an elite Persian class that enjoyed the North Indian rice dish known as biryani.
However, the Indians would make the rice dish too spicy for the palette of the Persian elite. To balance out the fire of the spices, the Persians began to enjoy the soothing taste of the raita sauce. Cool as cucumber and soothing as yogurt, this classic Indian sauce was the perfect solution to the spicy rice.
When the Persians went back to the Middle East, they took the raita dish with them, and the beguiling sauce entranced culinary aficionados. More than any other nation in the Ottoman Empire, the Greeks enjoyed this dish immensely. However, they also experimented with this classic cucumber and yogurt dip until its Indian roots were almost invisible. Tzatziki (derived from the Turkish word cacık) was born.
What’s in Tzatziki Now?
The classic Greek tzatziki that you know and love generally contains the following ingredients:
- Strained yogurt
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Lemon juice, mint, or parsley”
So mine isn’t totally traditional, but it’s still delicious and it’s a bit lower in fat since it doesn’t have any oil. It’s still January, I figure people are still trying to keep up with their New Year’s resolutions to eat better, though the way everything is going I also figure the world will end within about 2 months so I may as well eat chocolate and be happy. To each their own though – for some people eating well makes them happy, and I have hopefully at least given you a recipe that tastes good while still falling into the “Healthy” category.